This year, Alan Hazelden has been busy quietly making some of the year’s best puzzle games, using Stephen Lavelle’s clever, accessible HTML5 engine PuzzleScript. They’re mostly variants on the classic Sokoban template, but each of Hazelden’s efforts has been crafted with flair and wit. There’s a terrific demake of Michael Brough’s 868-HACK, while the challenging, inventive Mirror Isles is clearly excellent, albeit too much for my feeble brain to handle.
Fittingly, Sticky Candy Puzzle Saga was the one game I couldn’t quite let go of, even after my umpteenth retry of the same level. The twist here is that the giant sweets you’re manouevring into position will adhere to one another if pushed together, an idea that leads to some fiendishly complex levels. As with all the best puzzlers, its conundrums look straightforward at first glance and yet take a great deal of thought and careful planning to solve. It made my head hurt in the best possible way.